The Dance Tree

Kiran Millwood Hargrave

27 April 2023
304 pages


Set in an era of superstition and hysteria, and inspired by the true events of a doomed summer, The Dance Tree is a story of family secrets, forbidden love, and women pushed to the edge. The gripping, historical novel from Kiran Millwood Hargrave, as seen on BBC Two's Between the Covers.

‘Brilliant’ – Marian Keyes

‘I absolutely loved this book’ – Elodie Harper, author of The Wolf Den

Strasbourg, 1518. In the midst of a blisteringly hot summer, a lone woman begins to dance in the city square. She dances for days without pause, and as she is joined by hundreds of others, the authorities declare an emergency: musicians will be brought in to play the Devil out of these women.

Beyond the city, pregnant Lisbet tends the bees that are her livelihood. And then, as the dancing plague gathers momentum, Lisbet’s sister-in-law Nethe returns from seven years’ penance in the mountains for a crime no one will name.

As the city buckles under the beat of a thousand feet, Lisbet finds herself thrust into a dangerous web of deceit and clandestine passion, but she is dancing to a dangerous tune . . .

Shortlisted for the HWA Gold Crown

‘Intriguing, haunting, beautiful’ – Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne

‘Extraordinary, enthralling’ – Sunday Times

Extraordinary . . . enthralling . . . An exceptionally atmospheric, original story
Unusual and beautifully written, and the questions it raises about faith and love linger
Exceptionally brilliant. Immersive, sensual, compelling and totally convincing. Accessible, ambitious, The Dance Tree deserves to win prizes